The MHS Swim Team battled against Marshfield at home Thursday night in their closest dual meet in years. The Bluejays swam hard and almost came away with their first win in over a decade.
Merrill started the meet off with a second place in the 200 medley with Erin Kanitz, Rylee Hoeppner, Alliyah Pillai and Camryn Schulz.
“This has always been a tough event for us so I was pleased with a second, we then took that momentum and kept pushing from there,” comments coach Kristie Winter.
The next event saw a new school record by Sophomore Trinity Kanitz in the 200 Free. Swimming a 2:05.61, Kanitz broke the previous 10 year old record by almost two seconds, adding her name to the record board for the third time this season. Freshman Camryn Schulz then posted a first place swim in the 200 IM cutting more the 20 seconds from her time so far this season, she also beat the 2016 school record with a 2:29.66. Those great swims were then followed by freshman Erin Kanitz taking first in the 50 free with a 27.05 – a personal best for her as well. Merrill was leading at the half way point 32-30; a first in at least five years. The girls continued to push themselves and stay within reach in the second half of the meet.
After the break, Schulz came back with another first place swim in the 100 Free with a time of 1:01.68 and Trinity Kanitz broke her second school record of the night in the 500 Free with a 5:40.34, cutting a little over eight seconds from her previous best time and school record. Kanitz is now within reach of a possible run for a spot at DII state in November in both the 500 and 200 free events. The 100 back was led by freshman Erin Kanitz, also taking first with a 1:09.33, another personal best swim for her. In the 100 breast, Sophomore Rylee Hoeppner and Freshman Katie Myszka went 2-4, both with season best times.
It came down to the final relay to decide the winner. Marshfield was able to pull ahead and take first place in the relay beating Merrill’s Erin Kanitz, Kaitlyn Woller, Camryn Schulz and Trinity Kanitz even though they had a season best time by over two seconds. Marshfield ended up winning the dual 90-80.
“Everyone on the Merrill team showed great class and sportsmanship, the girls really pulled together and supported each other the entire meet,” Winter said. “While several team members names are not specifically listed as high point earners there were some great individual swims by Katy Ball, Breann Cagle, Rianna Dowds, Kaylee King, Aliyah Pillai and Ananda Van Wie as well. There were just too many personal best and season best swims to list individually, everyone brought their A game tonight, we had girls swimming events they never swam before just to help out the team. I am so proud of what they all accomplished and we still have a long way to go this season. Last year we had our highest conference score in at least 15 years. I think we should beat that number this this year if we keep working, pushing and supporting each other.”
The girls’ next dual meet is at D.C. Everest on Thursday, Oct. 12.